(Closed) OB vs Midwife in Ontario

posted 6 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
1675 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I have a midwife and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Now that I’ve had the experience, I can’t imagine going the OB path (for my personal values and beliefs..but I completely respect those who decide that an OB is the right choice for them).

I don’t know where you are, but in many parts of the province (including where I live) it’s imperative to get on a waiting list as soon as you get your positive test in order to get into midwifery care. It sounds like maybe that’s not the case where you are though if you already have a meeting arranged with a midwife.

My experience has been incredibly empowering and I greatly value each and every appointment. Appointments average 45 minutes to an hour in length and I never wait more than five to 10 minutes in the waiting room.

One of the central ideas behind midwifery is that they provide unbiased information and then allow you to made educated decisions, free of their biases. They also tend to believe in far fewer interventions – not just with regard to labour and delivery, but also to pregnancy in general – which aligns with my values.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.

Post # 4
2250 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I am not pregnant/have never had kids, but I am a massage therapy student in Ontario and we just completed a pregnancy outreach. My instructor talked a lot about midwives vs OBs, and could not speak more highly of midwives. She used a midwife (hospital birth) with both of her pregnancies, and a lot of the pregnant women I treated in clinic had decided to go the midwife route as well. It is becoming a lot more common, and I have only heard good things about the midwife experience! The other benefit is that they will continue to provide you with care post-partum, which is really great especially with your first pregnancy.

Post # 5
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m pregnant with my first. I went to an OBGYN for my first visit right before the new year (and some of my insurance benefits) changed. I thought it would be easier to just go where I was already going for paps and then I would figure out where I really wanted to have my baby after. I already knew I was going to do a home birth or a birth center.

I REALLY regret going to an OBGYN for my first visit. It felt more like a factory line. She really didn’t listen to me. And she practically pushed me out the door. The appointment was way too short for my personal comfort. I had a lot of other problems with that office but it basically amounts to poor customer service.

Midwife prenatal appointments tends to be an hour long. They are waaaay more relaxed. They want to listen a lot more about what you have going on with your pregnancy and even what your home enviornment/routines etc is like (which I personally apperciated). I really felt like I got to know the midwife and I was allowed time to think of all the questions I wanted to ask. When you are rushed you forget half the things you wanted to inquire about. The midwife experience has been AMAZING. I feel so much more comfortable and feel that the health care they provide is waaaaaay better than I got at the OBGYN appointment. They also walked me through a lot of what would happen in the coming appointments which put me more at ease.

It is a lot tricker with insurance if you have a home birth or in some states even a birth center birth. But its worth it. You can also have midwives in a hospital setting which makes the insurance less complicated. Midwifes are the experts in birth as thats ALL they do, so I really feel that as long as you have a midwife you will have a better experience.

Disclaimer: These are my personal views (which should be obvious). If you choose to disagree with them, that’s fine. You have to choose what feels RIGHT for you and makes YOU comfortable. If you are put in a situation you don’t feel right about you will have a more difficult birth just because of your increase in stress.

Post # 6
9 posts

I think it’s a personal choice and definitely worth exploring. I do take exception to the statement “One of the central ideas behind midwifery is that they provide unbiased information and then allow you to made educated decisions, free of their biases” however. Technically this is true of good doctors as well. While it may be the ideal, I definitely know people who have met with midwifes that were as biased as any doctor (e.g., making mothers guarantee they will not give birth in a hospital under any circumstances or making them feel like horrible people for even considering taking any drugs during delivery). 

Meet with the midwife and if she or he makes you feel more comfortable than your doctor, go for it! In Ontario, it’s your choice of who you go with.

Post # 7
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I work with a midwife team and I love them. The practice I go to works in teams, so I have 3 midwives and a student who I see for my appointments. I get any one of the 3 midwives, and typically the student is there as well. At our birth, two of the three midwives and the student will be present. Honestly, they are so down to earth, my appointments are 30-45 minutes, very personal (we talk about the baby, what else is going on in life, etc), not rushed to say the least.

You really do need to get on a waiting list NOW. I called at 15 weeks and ended up on three waiting lists for different clinics before I could get into one. When I got in I was so happy I nearly cried!

I like that with my midwives, I have a lot of options for my birth plan. We’re shooting for a homebirth, but at any point during my labour (or before) I can change my mind and we can transfer care to the hospital where my midwives will still be the ones in charge of my care, but I can have pain killers if I desire, etc. I’ll have minimal contact with doctors and nurses unless I want or need them there.

It’s been a wonderful experience working with a group of smart, funny, caring women. My particular clinic has a baby clothing bank for low income families which to me just speaks so much to the type of women who choose to be midwives and how involved they get in the community. When I saw the racks of clothes I nearly cried I just thought it was so sweet. I will definitely be donating clothes to them as time goes on 🙂

For our next pregnancy I will definitely be going with the same clinic again!

Post # 8
1675 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@Rocketzoly:  I definitely wasn’t speaking to what doctors do/don’t do, I was simply speaking to what midwives do do – they aren’t mutually exclusive 🙂 Coming from a medical family myself, I know that there are absolutely doctors who educate and allow women to make informed choices.

And it is actually one of the central philosopies of midwifery in Ontario, as outlined in the second of the three central Ontario Midwives principles,

Informed Choice

Women are active decision-makers in the care they receive; midwives give information to help women make informed decisions.”

It doesn’t mean that every single midwife practices that principle perfectly, but that is the objective.

Post # 9
9 posts

@hergreenapples:  Thanks for the reply – you learn something new everyday! I just meant to emphasize that there are bad midwives out there just as there are bad doctors and I would be careful about assuming that anything you are hearing is “unbiased”. It is one particular midwife in my area who seems to be pushing her “hospitals and doctors are evil” opinion on potential patients and I do have friends who have been very happy with their experiences with other local midwives (the same can be said about OBGYNs too). It’s all about finding the person who is a good fit for your needs and personality.

Post # 10
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m not in Canada, but I see a nurse practitioner/midwife practice here in the states.  I have really enjoyed my experiences so far.  I feel like I’m being heard by the health care providers.  I also like that this particular midwifery practice is hospital based, so in the event something does go wrong or I become a high risk patient, it’s within the safety net of a state-of-the-art healthcare institution.

I get to have a say in how my birth goes.  I have access to a hydrotherapy pool, I won’t automatically be laid on my back & hooked up to monitors.  I can have a doula with me.  I should be able to move around freely, eat, and drink during labor.  I want to feel supported and empowered.

I would also suggest reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth for a more in depth perspective of midwife-based care.  I found her book to be very motivating and encouraging.

Congrats on your pregnancy!!

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